President Ernest Koroma has commissioned the Sierra Leone Stock Exchange at the Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown to show progress in the country’s post conflict economic development.
“This important occasion… marks the beginning of a series of events characterized by my government’s commitment in enhancing the private sector development and economic growth in Sierra Leone” President Koroma said.
“We are fully aware of the roles played by financial institutions in the country’s economic growth. An efficient financial sector is indispensable in the creation of incentive for the flow of investment and the diffusion of technology.”
President Koroma also pointed out that a number of African countries have already enacted measures aimed at improving their financial sectors. These policy measures will remove barriers in domestic financial institutions.
He said his government has embarked on various financial restructuring and is strengthening to meet the needs of Sierra Leone for the development of the country during post conflict recover.
The President said the Financial Services Act of 2007 would serve as the legal basis for the operation of the stock exchange until the enactment of the security bill.
“Stock exchange is very crucial to the development of the financial system, by collecting and analyzing information about investment opportunities and also broadening and deepening the local capital market,” he said.
He said a well established capital market serves as an opportunity for wealth creation for government, individuals and other financial institutions.
Jacob Kanu, a member of the Governing Council, had some concerns about the preparation of the stock exchange market.
“As the day marked the birth of a capital exchange market in Sierra Leone, there are peculiar problems associated with the Stock Exchange in the country, as much has not been done in the past to sensitize the general public on the significance of the market,” he said.
However, he said they have attracted huge support from the Central Bank of Sierra Leone in terms of training on capital markets, backed by many surveys, studies and consultancies.
Solomon Samba, chairman of the Governing Council, commended the government for supporting the stock exchange project.
He said that all those intending to invest in Stock Exchange should do so through Capital Discount House and First Discount House.
Samba said that the Sierra Leone Stock Exchange is run by the director general but the governing council is responsible for governing the project through regulatory framework.
The occasion was chaired by the Minister of Finance Dr. Samura Kamara and many other notable figures in African finance attended to express their appreciation, including the Bank Governor of Sierra Leone, Sheku Sesay, and the commissioner of the National Commission for Privatization, Abu Bangura.
By Solomon Rogers